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It’s a universally acknowledged truth that UVA is not a dry campus (Grounds), but that’s not to say that there aren’t things to do that don’t involve drinking. Actually, there are tons of things to do, and here are 10 of my favorite.

1. Watch the Lawn Streakers

A favorite past time of my roommate and I is heading to The Lawn around midnight and sitting on the steps of the Rotunda to watch other people who did drink, streak. Depending on the night you could see dozens of streakers and as the night gets later, the antics grow funnier. Bring some snacks and make a night of it.  

2. Go to 1515

1515 is a new spot on the corner that just opened, which includes study spaces, an open mic stage, a desert bar, and a floor wide arcade. The basement of the otherwise quite serene building is the arcade that now holds pool tables, air hockey, foosball, skeet ball, pinball and even some old Donkey Kong and Mario game machines. Its open until 2 AM and it’s blissfully free to students.

3. Go to a Game

In case anyone hadn’t noticed, UVA is a division 1 school for sports, which means that there a lot of different sports at all levels from varsity basketball, to intramural sand volleyball. There is always some game going on, so take advantage of that and go to some! I’ve heard that Quidditch is thrilling live.

4. Go See a Concert on the Downtown Mall

The Downtown Mall in Charlottesville is full of wonders from the Tea Bazaar to Escape Room, and of course, a large open air amphitheater. There are tons of concerts that happen year round and there are few things more enjoyable than inexpensive, live music.

5. Go See a Movie at a Movie Theatre

If you like movies, you’ve come to the right place. Charlottesville has quite a few movie theatres like the Violet Crown and a large Regal that show quite a few different films. If you look close enough you can even find special showings of things, like Rocky Horror with live actors at the Paramount Theatre on Halloween or a special original cut showing of Casablanca.

6. Go to a Club Activity

There are over 300 clubs at UVA, which roughly translates to there is always something happening for at least one of them. Some organizations have film screenings for $5, some have performances or showcases, some do food fairs, and some have activities yet to be imagined by me. Believe it or not there are actual activities on those flyers that people give you.  

7. Go See an Acapella Concert or Theatre Performance

Stemming from the club activities, UVA has almost 20 acapella groups, loads of dance groups, and quite a few theatre groups. All of the above have shows or showcases for what they do and some of them are even free. I went to the free Salsa Club showcase and it was really good.

8. Go Ice Skating at the Main Street Arena

The Downtown Mall as you know by now, is full of wonders. One of said wonders is the Main Street Arena, which is the Charlottesville ice rink. It has free skate almost every day where you can rent skates and get on the ice. It’s a fun thing to do with friends, on a date, or with someone you don’t like who doesn’t know how to skate!  

9. Go to a UPC Event

UPC is University Programs Council, which is an organization that exists for the sole purpose of planning fun events. They put on movie nights, craft events, pop up Build-A-Bear Workshops and throw everyone’s favorite: SpringFest. There are UPC events almost every weekend and there is a never-ending variety of activities that they put on.  

10. Go to the Newcomb Game Room

If you’re not up for trekking all the way to the corner, stop off at the Newcomb Game Room for some pool, ping pong, air hockey or a board game. It’s conveniently located, free, and stocked for some late-night fun. There are so many things to do at UVA that no one ever has the right to say they’re bored!


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